All posts filed under: How to guides

How to…lose weight

Eating and dieting has blossomed into a multi-million pound industry. You can follow the latest fad diet that combines food groups or blood type; that starves you on certain days of the week or that restricts you to protein, but as far as I can see it it is a very simple equation. To lose weight you need to eat less and move more. I use the word move instead of exercise. Exercise is a word that instills fear into people. The thought of joining the gym and being sporty is alienating and off putting. But to move – to simply move your body. That is all is required. Walking, swimming and cycling. Gardening, housework, yoga. Move. After Christmas I hopped on the scales and found I was reaching the upper limit of my acceptable body weight. My jeans were a bit tighter and my belly was sticking out a bit. So I promptly reduced my food intake to normal levels and moved more. Yes I do go to the gym and I love it. …

How to…prevent dementia

Dementia is one thing I fear in life. I think my fear is about the loss of control, the onset of confusion and forgetting things. I would hate to forget the people I love and the things I have done in my life. It’s a complex problem that presents a global challenge and let’s face it, old age presents enough challenges without the added worry of dementia. I know it’s not very “sexy” to talk about dementia, but this week sees the first G8 Summit on dementia and rightly so. It’s a growing problem around the world and the BBC is running a series of stories on its Breakfast show – so it’s in the forefront of my mind. So what is it: According to the NHS website, dementia is not a disease but a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain. These symptoms can be caused by a number of conditions. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Early symptoms: Early symptoms of dementia are often mild and may …

How to…guide to manscaping

Manscaping is now a commonly used and accepted term for trimming, shaping and waxing body hair. It seems we are obsessed with body hair – and it’s removal. I’m fairly well-endowed (with body hair) and use clippers to keep my back and shoulder hair in check, and give my chest hair a trim now and then. It’s a fairly easy thing to do, you simply need the right tools and an idea of what shape and style you want. If you believe Braun, then you should use the new Braun cruZer6 range. I’ve given it a trial run and am impressed with the results. It’s good for sculpting and trimming different lengths, but takes a little while for a full trim if you are, say the wooly jumper, or something similar. Braun has gone to the trouble of conducting a survey into manscaping habits of men, it has given a style guide as well. The study by Braun reveals that over 70% of men trim their body hair, with almost a third taking over 20 …

How to…care for your moustache

It’s Movember and for the uninitiated, growing a mo is no simply task. OK, the hair growth might be easy – but defining a shape and style – that takes some time effort, and a touch of class. There’s a real art to growing a moustache – something that with a little love and attention will give you a facial focus to be proud of. Gentlemen’s Tonic, specialists in male grooming and wet shaving has shared a few top tips on how to keep a handle on your moustache: 1.    They suggest you call in the professionals. (OK, you say – they would say that – but with a professional shape and style first – you can use your time to craft and maintain at home). I sought the expert advice at Gentelmen’s Tonic for my beard and have never looked back. 2.    Keep it clean: You need to wash your moustache! Using your regular facial wash is fine, although perhaps introduce a scrub once a week. A slick of conditioner applied every time you …

The Spa Man's guide to how to supplement your skin. The concept of supporting healthy skin function from the inside out

How to supplement your skin

So here is The Spa Man’s guide to how to supplement your skin. The concept of supporting healthy skin function from the inside out makes perfect sense to me. Skin is alive, it’s our largest organ and is contantly renewing itself. Why not ensure that it is healthy and properly nourished with the correct level of vitamins, essential fatty acids and trace minerals. I do firmly believe in supplementing the skin with a healthy diet and nutritional supplements. It is all very well applying lots of topical creams and serums to your skin, but if it isn’t healthy and working at its optimum level, these will only provide a hydrating benefit and possibly little else. I spoke to a nutritional expert about the concept of supplementing the skin. Lorraine Perretta, nutrititional consultant at the International Institute for Anti-Ageing explains, ‘Vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids actually nourish the skin from within and these nutrients are important for the production of skin cells. For example, the cell membrane of a skin cell is made from essential …

How to…nourish your skin with nuts

Nuts are an essential part of your diet and contain a whole variety of micro-nutrients that are important not only for the health of your body and organs – but provide essential nourishment for your skin. I have picked out some of the nut superstars and below interviewed Nicholas Perricone, MD for the inside story on why nuts are so good for the skin. Brazil nuts – just four nuts provide over 100 per cent of your RDA. Selenium protects the body from free radicals that can cause premature ageing Walnuts – contain Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells Almonds – rich in Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant helping to protect skin cells from UV light and other environmental factors that generate cell-damaging free radicals Hazelnuts – a potent source of Vitamin E and packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), …

How to…grab a spa bargain

Everyone seems to offer deals, discounts and special spa offers online and via email. But they aren’t always what they seem and if it’s too good to be true – well perhaps it is. I am always asked for the low down on how to get a good deal at the spa, when to book and how to spot the best offer. I spoke to Vicki Vilas, Editor of The Good Spa Guide about how to search for the best offers and what pitfalls to avoid. What is the best way to grab a spa bargain? Take time to find the right offer, don’t rush to book the first deal you see advertised at a super-cheap price. Think about what you really want, and what your maximum budget is. The best “bargains” aren’t always the lowest in value — “value for money” doesn’t have to mean rock-bottom prices. If you really want a deep-tissue massage to sort out those laptop shoulders, book it. You’ll feel the benefits afterwards, and it will feel like money well …

How to…brighten your skin with a healthy breakfast

The Spa Man’s summer breakfast recipe: Breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day – I love a wholesome, hearty feast that includes oats and berries. Winter for me is usually porridge and berries with honey and cinnamon. Summer, however is a time to change the routine. I do my own take on the famous bircher muesli. It’s a popular breakfast across the European continent (and growing in the UK) which is based on uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts. Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, I absolutely love it and during summer it’s the mainstay of my breakfast. I have listed below my recipe – but you can be fully flexible with it. Add different seeds, nuts and dried fruit, top it with banana, grated apple – whatever takes your fancy. There is no standard cup – a coffee cup or tea cup will suffice. The Spa Man’s Bircher Muesli 3 cups of porridge oats 1/2 cup of mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots) …

How to…protect your skin on holiday

I don’t need to lecture about protecting the skin on holidays – it’s simple, it’s a fact and it will not only protect your skin from burning, but ageing and also from skin cancer. In 2010, around 100,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK. More than 12,000 of these cancers were malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Each year, around 2,200 people die from skin cancer. How to protect your skin… Sun damage doesn’t just happen when you’re on holiday in the sun. It can happen when you’re not expecting it, for example when you go for a walk or sit in your garden. Here are the SMART messages from the NHS.  GET SMART: Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm. Make sure you never burn. Aim to cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses. Remember to take extra care with children. Then use factor 15+ sunscreen. Report mole changes or unusual skin growths to your GP. Always take special care of children’s skin. The best way to do this is …

How to…classify spas

Spas vary in shape, size, location and brand. The first experience of a spa is often at a hotel, but limit yourself to this style and you limit your experience and enjoyment. Here is a quick guide to the different types of spas you will find with a short explanation of each. Destination Spa Destination Spas are just that – the spa is the destination and main reason for visiting. It offers accommodation, spa cuisine and a whole programme of activities and events. Your stay will be all-inclusive and include spa treatments, fitness regimes, therapeutic treatments, educational classes and other wellness options. Minimum stays are often required. Destination spas are not just for holidays but to remedy problems and can be life changing.  Hotel Spa Hotel Spas are likely to be one of the first you will encounter. They should include a fitness suite or gym, a pool and sometimes other outdoor pursuits. The spa will feature a full-service treatment menu for beauty, grooming and therapeutic treatments.  The spa is an add-on to the hotel …

How to…pack for a spa holiday

A survey by Latedeals.co.uk has revealed some interesting differences in the way men and women pack for a holiday. Before we look at some of the best packing tips, did you know that: 65% of holidaymakers are last minute packers and fill their suitcase the night before they travel Most people FOLD: 68% fold clothes, 22% both fold and roll, 10% just roll clothes 12% of people write a packing list HALF of us cram extra items into our suitcase just before we leave for the airport The majority of women admit they over pack and 91% claim they never wear all of their clothes 53% went over personal baggage allowances last year How packing styles differ: Men use 98% of what they’ve packed while away on holiday while women only wear 62% of what they’ve packed …more than a quarter is unworn Men pack late – 90% of men pack the night before and women pack early – 50% start to pack 3+ days ahead The average British man packs 14 items of clothing for …

How to…feed your skin

Feeding your skin is quite a simple proposition. A “rainbow diet” of vegetables and fruits (with healthy omega 3 rich fish and a selection of nuts) is the best route to great looking skin and in fact is excellent for your general health too. Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D. is a great proponent of caring for your skin from the inside out. Supplying your body (and in turn your skin) with the correct nutrients will help to ensure it’s health, vitality and longevity. Your diet should be rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants have the potential to overwhelm destructive molecules called “free radicals,” which live in every cell of the body and can destroy the skin tissue. Maintaining a good supply of antioxidant vitamins will keep your skin looking healthy, fresh and alive. Nicholas Perricone, M.D. renowned skin doctor has given some great insights into specific foods that are perfect for the skin with a few explanations as to why these as so great. Here he looks at the main groupings …

How to guides…

I am about to launch a new section on The Spa Man to replace the redundant “Stuff” page. The new “How to guides” will all follow a similar format – drawing on the expertise of well known spa and grooming experts, skincare specialists and health and wellness practitioners from around the world. I will also contribute some of my own thoughts on “How to…” do certain things. I wanted to give practical advice on different topics that can be used as a reference tool – for example: how to spa, how to shave and how to feed your skin. If you have any suggestions for topics or want to pose questions – feel free.